A lot at stake for U.S. gun lobby in contempt vote

by Fred Barbash and David Ingram  |  published on June 27, 2012

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Even before President Barack Obama and his Attorney General Eric Holder formally took office in 2009, the National Rifle Association stated that the new administration’s secret “gun-control agenda” posed a clear danger to America’s gun owners and the constitutional right to bear arms.

So after whistleblowers revealed a botched gun-running probe conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — “Operation Fast and Furious” – a top NRA official called it another “Watergate.”

Here was what the NRA had long viewed as an out-of-control agency, in the thrall of a hostile president and attorney general, allowing weapons sold in the United States to find their way into Mexico. The reason, the NRA said in its literature, was that the administration wanted to boost statistics about guns flowing into Mexico to support a push for new laws to regulate American gun dealers.

It was another “Watergate,” NRA Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre warned in a 2011 interview.

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